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A Case of Need Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1994
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As mentioned above, the story deals with abortion and the need to broaden/relax the laws. So, depending on your political and religious leanings, you may find the story anywhere between contemporary and thought-provoking to depraved and immoral. Be advised.
Beyond the ethical position it takes, there is a story here with some suspense and good pacing. The suspense is provided by assembling a myriad of suspects and digging into the background of several witnesses, many of whom have their own secrets – drug use, infidelity, self-destructive behavior, deceitfulness. And surprisingly, Berry, with no authority and only some vague background in the Military Police, unearths all of this information singlehandedly. But after doing so, he doesn’t understand he has more than enough to raise reasonable doubt; then he doesn’t want to use this information because it’s too “dirty;” finally, he complains that the lawyer didn’t use it aggressively enough. The only consistency I could find in Berry was that he always wanted to play it alone and as a result, the circumstances that pitted him against the world were of his own making. That behavior doesn’t gain my empathy and tends to make my mind wander to other books I could be reading.
As a long-time Crichton fan, I thought I’d always be able to recommend one of his stories. I was wrong. My advice, look elsewhere for your reading entertainment.
Back in the 50's-even into the late 50's early 60's abortion was illegal. However at that point in time there were some doctors who would perform the operation. Mostly it was a reaction to all the women who died after going to hacks. Right or wrong they were much safer having the procedure done in a medical office or hospital. Back then the hospitals and probably the doctors listed the abortions as D&Cs. Whether the doctors back then agreed with the procedure or not--they all knew which doctors would. Doctors stick together--their world is insular.
This novel, based in my opinion, in truth-is what could happen if a doctor was accused of performing an abortion back then and how all the other doctors may have reacted. Only a pathologist was bound and determined to get to the truth and exonerate his friend!
The ending will make you gasp at what he ultimately uncovered and who was to blame for the death of this woman.
Michael Crichton added footnotes explaining some if not all of the medical jargon! At the end of this book is his biography and pictures. When Michael Crichton died in 2008 the world lost one of it's greatest writers!
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